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It is Deja Vu All Over Again in the Energy Markets

There's been quite a bit of news on whether the government will tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to combat rising gasoline prices.

I get the feeling I've been here before.

In fact, I wrote about this very topic just three weeks ago. And sure enough, we had conflicting reports on the subject yesterday.

But despite what my wife Marina may think, I don't cause events in the oil markets merely by writing or talking about them.

She remains convinced that when I go on television and discuss higher oil and gas prices, my words provide energy firms the green light to raise them.

The reality is that I just know how politicians think (and panic) when it comes to the energy markets. So please, refrain from shooting the messenger.

Yesterday we also witnessed mixed messages from both politicians and the market.

Crude oil prices initially dove more than $3 per barrel in both London and New York when the story broke that there was a joint U.S.-U.K. agreement to release volume from each country's strategic reserves.

Later in the afternoon, prices shot back up quickly in New York (by that time the market had closed in London) following a White House denial that any such deal was in the works.

Still nobody inside the Beltway is claiming the idea is now off the table.

Was yesterday a trial balloon? Some junior staff member with an itchy dialing finger?

A hasty press release?

All are certainly possibilities.

But the confusion created in the aftermath of the "leak" hides one very simple, inconvenient truth.

There are few, if any, genuine options to offset rising gasoline prices.

Everything we need to do will take a few years to work out.

And it should. But you and I need to continue this conversation.

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